Almond-Pumpkin Granola

Yield: 12 generous cups

Looking for a granola that forms crunchy mouth-watering clusters without any added oil or sugar?  Look no further, this is the recipe for you.  The spice blend is perfumed from the cardamom and spicy from the ginger, meanwhile the pumpkin and buckwheat gives the mix a nice earthiness that brings out the best in the almonds: pure satisfaction from first bite to last.

What you need :

  • 1 cup chopped dates (something softer, but it needn’t be Medjool)
  • 2 cup puréed pumpkin (I like a half and half combination of watery Hallowe’en type pumpkin and of a sweeter, drier squash such as Kabocha or Buttercup)
  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup kasha (toasted buckwheat groats)
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, ground to a meal in a coffee or spice grinder
  • 1-1/4 cup raw almonds, chopped
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger root
  • A few twists (or more if you like the heat) of freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 cup raisins (Thompson preferred)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (fruit-juice sweetened preferred
  • 1/2 cup dried goldenberries (or more cranberries, or more raisins)

What you do :

  1. Soaked the chopped dates overnight in the pumpkin purée.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300F and line two large (11’’x17’’) rimmed pans with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, kasha, chopped nuts and ground seed. Mix well.
  4. Purée the dates, pumpkin, ginger root and dry spices in a blender until smooth. This will likely take several minutes and require stopping to scrape down the sides several times.
  5. Pour the contents of the blender into the bowl of dry grain, nuts and seed. Distribute the date-pumpkin purée throughout.
  6. Divide the mixture between the two pans and spread in an even layer. Cook for 1 hour, stirring every twenty minutes during the baking period and switching the pans from top to bottom so the entire contents cooks evenly.  Break up the bigger clusters as you toss so that everything bakes through to crispy yumminess.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  8. Mix in the dried fruit and transfer to airtight containers.

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